Tennessee Titans general manager, Ruston Webster would like for us to not worry about rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota not being inked on a contract yet, but most of the media analysts around the National Football League are not so sure.
If the 2014 Heisman Trophy winner and his agent, Rep 1 Sports decide to draw a line in the sand around this “offset language” stuff, it could mean Mariota might not be in camp on time, and would miss valuable instruction and meaningful snaps.
Snaps he dearly needs if head coach Ken Whisenhunt plans on the rookie being ready for opening day against Jameis Winston and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Mariota remains the only player drafted in the first round, and one of only a few from the entire 2015 draft who is not yet signed to a contract.
The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement was designed to keep these holdouts from happening over salary by slotting draft picks into a nice salary that everyone could live with. Unfortunately, language was put in because of the Jamarcus Russell situation in Oakland, and now it has become a problem again with Mariota.
- A team wants it. If the player is cut during the contract and signs elsewhere, a new deal with a new team offsets part of the money the original team owes.
- A player does not want it. If a player is cut during the contract and signs elsewhere, the player gets the money from his original team and from his new team. (Also known as double-dipping.)
Let’s explain the ground rules here!
The NFPA wants the to eliminate the language, and Titans manager of contracts, Vin Marino may be fighting the fight as a “Badge of Honor” to impress management.
Whatever the case, the bottom line here is Marcus Mariota has become the face of this franchise since being drafted on May 31st, and they need to quit playing games. Get him signed and in camp on time.
"Jim Trotter on ESPN made a good point yesterday when he said, the language will remain “as is” until someone forces the change. Up until now, the Titans have not had a player who was high enough profile to fight this fight, but now Mariota and his agents have the best hand."
Now it will come down to who blinks first!
To further complicate matters, Jameis Winston who was drafted one position ahead of Mariota accepted the offset language, and Dante Fowler Jr. who was drafted one spot behind him did not, but was signed anyway.
I agree 100% with Paul Kuharsky’s synopsis on this matter:
"The Titans seem principled about winning offset language.That’s nice and all.They need to be more principled about changing course, and Mariota is the key to that.With a quarterback drafted second overall on a team desperate to move in a new direction, the Titans need to make an exception if that’s what it takes to get a deal done for him to be on the field July 31."
Let’s get this kid signed and in camp on time! This is the only cloud hanging over what should be an exciting time for Tennessee Titans fans, in and around Music City!